Travel: what's on worldwide
Sunday 28 December 1997
The Japanese New Year's celebrations, the Nima-Cho, are kept to a tight time schedule as the main event involves the ritual turning of a giant egg-timer contraption. One of the six glass pyramids at The Nima Sand museum houses a five metre "sand glass" containing one ton of sand, which is turned on its head at the stroke of midnight, taking the following year to filter back through again.
- 1 Jan
Put on your best ugly sister frock and get ready for a 24 hour panto. The "Vagabonds New Year" in the village of Bedzin sees outlandish skits and tricks based on traditional formulas performed by resident rogues dressed in extravagant costumes. Starting early on the 31st, these itinerant souls perform their way around the village until well into New Year's Day.
- 1 Jan
A flaming alternative to Edinburgh's definitive and heavily patronised Hogmanay festival, takes place in the north-east of Scotland, in the seaside town of Stonehaven. The Fireballs Ceremony celebrates Hogmanay and Ne'er Day with the traditional pagan ferocity, involving great balls of fire. Whisky fuelled participants parade the streets swinging metal cages full of burning debris around their heads, apparently to ward off evil spirits for the year ahead.
- 1 Jan
New years celebrations in Ahetringele, Laupen are not the usual bash. Maidens are beaten with inflated pigs' bladders until they fall to pieces - the weapons that is. This ham fisted "happy New Year" procession bids farewell to the old year with the clamorous ringing of huge bells, whilst the "bladder men" beat the crowd, and the "broom men" brandish poles tied with juniper berries.
- 26 Jan
The festival of Sydney (above) starts as it means to go on with a high summer, high energy, New Year's Eve party continuing for most of January with theatre, jazz, open air cinema, visual arts, and the legendary free concerts in the Domain - Opera in the Park, and Symphony Under the Star - culminating with Australia Day on 26 January.
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 4 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
- 5 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
£21000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Located on the stunning Sandban...
£26 - 35k (DOE): Guru Careers: An Email Marketing Specialist is needed to join...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity to join a is a...
Unpaid voluntary work: Old Royal Naval College: Join our team of friendly volu...